Once upon a time, Charles Barkley and Tiger Woods were apparently really good friends. But then all heck broke loose on that unfortunate November night in 2009, when Tiger got into trouble with his wife, Elin, for some alleged untoward behavior with other women, Elin chasing Tiger out of the house with a golf club, and Tiger crashing his truck into a tree as he attempted to escape Elin’s wrath.
And since then, the friendship between Sir Charles “The Round Mound of Rebound” Barkley and Tiger Woods has ceased to exist, a situation that Barkley calls “disappointing,” according to the Golf Channel.
Current NBA analyst and former NBA star Charles Barkley discussed his relationship with Tiger Woods in an interview on Campus Insiders’ Seth Davis Show, saying that he and Tiger were such good buddies that they actually talked once a week for 15 years.
But all that changed after Elin found out that Tiger was engaged in extra-curricular recreational activities that had nothing to do with golf and weren’t acceptable as part of their marriage. Sir Charles refers to Tiger and Elin’s blowout as “the accident” in the interview, and that he and Tiger haven’t talked since the accident happened.
“I’m a Tiger Woods fan… I have not talked to Tiger since the accident. He went in a different direction. I’m not upset by that, (but) I’m disappointed.”
And “disappointed” seems to be the right word, Charles Barkley clearly expressing a genuine fondness and appreciation for the friendship he enjoyed with Woods, while also being a big Tiger Woods golf fan.
“I really want him to break Jack Nicklaus’ record. I think Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer who ever lived. He’s always treated me with respect and dignity, and I feel like the same.”
Regarding what happened between Tiger Woods and his previous wife, and the profound impact it had on both Tiger’s life and friendships, Charles Barkley understands what followed and takes the demise of his friendship with Tiger Woods in stride.
“I understand that situation; I’m disappointed. But that was a thing in his life. He has to handle that how he handled it. I try not to ever be a Monday morning quarterback. That night changed his life forever. He chose to handle that, to just sever his friends and I have to accept that.”
This same tone and understanding Charles Barkley currently has for Tiger Woods hasn’t always been such, however. In past interviews regarding Tiger Woods, Charles Barkley has also expressed frustration at the loss of his friendship with the legendary golfer. Charles said the following in a 2011 interview.
“You think you’re friends with a guy, you talk to him once a week for 15 years, and you’re like, ‘This dude is my friend’… We do things. We have fun together… I haven’t talked to him (Tiger) in two years and I’m wondering what the h**l is going on.”
Also, just recently in July, Barkley told the Golf Channel that Tiger Woods just wasn’t a “very sociable guy,” following with the straight forward statement that “we’re not friends anymore.”
For now, though, Charles Barkley misses his friendship with Tiger Woods. He has also claimed that he was never a bad influence on Tiger, though others have voiced suspicion.
Tiger, meanwhile, seems to be very much enjoying his relationship with his new significant other, World Champion Skier Lindsey Vonn.
And if a friendship with Sir Charles means the potential for some Elin-like kind of situation where Vonn might be chasing Tiger out of the house with a ski boot or pole, Tiger will likely keep his Barkley friendship in the past.
[Images via Golf Week and Google Images]